Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change?

From the University of Adelaide

melting _ice

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

Published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the research reports the first laboratory experiments testing theoretical models of wave activity in frozen oceans.

“Sea ice is both an indicator and agent of climate change,” says project leader Dr Luke Bennetts, Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences.

“Sea ice covering the ocean surface is white and efficiently reflects the sun’s rays, keeping the oceans cool. When it melts it reveals the dark ocean beneath, which absorbs the solar radiation and becomes warmer – and that, of course, further weakens the ice.

“Waves break up the ice so that it melts more easily. In addition, exposing larger areas of the ocean surface provides a larger area for the wind to generate waves, which further promotes the breaking.”

To date, however, climate models haven’t included the impact of waves on sea ice.

In collaboration with Dr Tim Williams, of the Nansen Environment and Remote Sensing Centre in Bergen, Norway, and Professor Dany Dumont, of the University of Quebec in Canada, Dr Bennetts conducted experiments modelling ocean waves travelling through ice floes in a wave basin and measuring the wave energy.

“Wave energy is scattered by ice floes and is transferred into collisions between ice floes and into waves running over the tops of the floes, both of which impact the ice cover,” Dr Bennetts says.

“Wave-ice interactions occur over hundreds of kilometres into the ice-covered ocean. We need to develop models that predict the distances waves will penetrate so we can determine which regions of sea ice are more susceptible to breaking up.

“Regional variability in sea ice is presently not very well understood, with models under-predicting the extent of Antarctic sea ice and over-predicting the extent in the Arctic. Our research will lead to better physics in climate models and hopefully help answer these questions (among others).

“We need to take into account the impact of waves to accurately forecast future scenarios for sea ice.”

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116 thoughts on “Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change?

  1. To date, however, climate models haven’t included the impact of waves on sea ice.

    Great. They really ought to highlight these inadequacies before claiming they can predict the end of the world.
    Oceans aren’t flat – Breaking news, Breaking ice.
    But this is step in the right direction.
    Next, the impact of storms?

    • The models in predict less ice loss than occurred.
      This is documented.
      When models miss the mark you improve them
      By adding missing physics

      • A citation would be very useful here, Mosh … saying “this is documented” is just a tease. As you’ve often pointed out, that’s not science, it’s just an advertisement.
        w.

      • In fact, as I recall there have been many model-based predictions of “ice-free summers”, presumably from models, and the famous model-predicted “arctic death spiral” that never happened … so Mosh, which models predict less ice loss than occurred? In any case, here’s what RealClimate has to say on the matter:

        As you can see, the models are all over the map. You say:

        When models miss the mark you improve them
        By adding missing physics

        So … just when are they going to get around to adding the “missing physics”?
        w.

      • They should have started 30 years ago when it was pointed out that CO2 was not the control knob. So after 30 years of childish modeling, they will now start to look at things like ENSO and now breaking news wind can break up ice.
        No big funding was allowed to study natural climate – only human controlled hypothetical global warming, and later on climate change, which was already known to change naturally. But the new argument was perverted to assume climate only changes as a result of CO2. Funding the improvements with money we do not have are only allowed if you can chase the boogey man –CO2.

      • If that’s true, why did all of the press releases declare that ice loss should have been much more than what has been seen?

      • “The models in predict less ice loss than occurred.
        This is documented.
        When models miss the mark you improve them
        By adding missing physics”
        ==========================================
        Less ice then predicted when, in 2012 when a late season storm came? None of the models predicted the recovery since. None of the models predicted the cool summers in the North. Currently arctic Sea Ice is the highest it has been this past decade
        http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/arctic-sea-ice-extent-at-a-decadal-high-ever-day-in-november/
        If fixing the models is part of the agenda, then why do they, (the IPCC and dozens of studies, base their future harm forecasts (droughts, etc) based on the assembled model mean of wrong models? (consistently wrong in one direction; too warm)

      • Steve: there is no way to improve any of your climate models. What is missing is not physics but comprehension of physics. You have to judge them on performance and on performance they all fail, starting with Hansen in 1988. His “business as usual” model predicted much more warming then we actually got. We know that today because we have lived through the period that he attempted to prognosticate but people listening then were both ignorant and alarmed. And this became part of the argument for starting up the IPCC. He used an IBM mainframe but nowadays the modelers have supercomputers running software comprised of millions of lines of code. But their results are still no better than Hansen’s were. By now they have had 26 years to get their house in order but they have failed. Furthermore, the errors they do make often err on the side of too much warming, something that is hard to believe could happen by chance alone. It is clear that climate forecasting simply does not work and should be shut down. This is what a factory owner would do if told that business forecasts he has been receiving for the last 26 years have all been wrong.

      • Your faith in models to eventually tell us the answer seems optimistic.
        Let’s look at something much smaller: a single molecule. Protein folding, from Wikipedia:
        “Levinthal’s paradox is a thought experiment, also constituting a self-reference in the theory of protein folding. In 1969, Cyrus Levinthal noted that, because of the very large number of degrees of freedom in an unfolded polypeptide chain, the molecule has an astronomical number of possible conformations. An estimate of 3^300 or 10^143 was made in one of his papers.
        Well, that might take a long time to calculate with a computer model. More time than the universe has left with current computational power.
        So I guess something else might be required: looking!
        “The study of protein folding has been greatly advanced in recent years by the development of fast, time-resolved techniques.
        When you are willing to take a new drug solely based on simulated interaction within a human body, then I’ll be willing to accept climate models and their predictions. Until then, I’ll want comparison to the real world, and the understanding that even still unexpected phenomenon can occur.

    • Storms are the main cause of the ice reduction in 2007(?) in the Arctic. Have they just realised that storms cause ice area to reduce?

    • ‘Next, the impact of storms?’
      Hear hear! I’m still in a bind waiting on the grant application to study the impact of penguin poo on Antarctic sea ice formation to feed into the Great Big Climate Model. Don’t Gummints understand such urgent matters anymore?
      As Mosher says- ‘When models miss the mark you improve them
      By adding missing physics’

  2. …in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

    I stopped there. Their whole study is founded on wrong suppositions.

    • “… particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.”
      Ditto. Hit that comment and immediately assumed the rest would be rot as well. And true to form they’re developing models in the lab, not collecting real-world data.

      • Not familiar with all your views, but saying Arctic sea ice extent is low, therefore it is retreating, is similar to saying Tommy is the tallest boy in the class, therefore he is growing. To make that conclusion you need to add more observations, and northern sea ice has been staging a recovery for several years.

      • The fact that you can’t recognize the logical disconnect between being below average and being in retreat tells me a lot about your reasoning.
        Between about 1995 and 2007, the area of Arctic sea ice coverage was indeed showing a downward trend. For the last few years, it looks to have been in a high-noise regimen with wide swings in coverage area. Right now, except for the Chukchi Sea, coverage is pretty much normal – and I’d guess that the deficit is largely due to an inflow of the warm water of the North Pacific. With Arctic air temperatures trending closely in line with their 40-year average, I see no evidence of anything that could be cause for alarm.

      • You’re both right.
        Since satellite records began Arctic ice has been retreating.
        Is it retreating year-on-year? No. And it has not been retreating in the last two years.
        So what is significant? “No continuous or accelerating decline” or “Yes, we have a significant decline since the satellites went up and measurements began”?
        Me? I post this under “wait and see”.
        Neither of you is wrong.

      • Polar ice is not in recovery by all measures it is below
        It’s long term average.
        You can say it’s recovered when it gets back to it’s last peak

      • Steven Mosher says:
        Polar ice is not in recovery…
        It is rapidly recovering, which deconstructs the last prediction of the MMGW crowd, which predicted that the Arctic would be ice-free by now. Every other alarmist prediction has been wrong, too.
        That’s why “Arctic ice” is such a big deal to the warmist crowd. It’s all they’ve got left; the rest of their predictions are in tatters. Planet Earth is debunking everything they believe in.
        The reality is that Arctic ice does not matter. At all. The Arctic has been ice-free in the past, well before CO2 began to rise. Now there is plenty of ice in the Arctic. Rational folks will look at the situation and conclude that the carbon scare is a false alarm. The others will cling to their beliefs.

      • Mr. Mosher?

        “You can say it’s recovered when it gets back to it’s last peak”

        So mankind has been shrinking in height since 1972 (Shaquille O’Neal’s birth year) and will not be fully recovered until we re-attain that peak… got it.

      • Poor Moshe, he actually doesn’t recognize the difference between recovery and recovered.
        BTW, which long term average? The average for positive PDO or negative PDO? The average for positive AMO or negative AMO.
        You are aware that long term only goes back to the beginning of the satellite era and hence is pretty much a meaningless standard?

      • I have said this before and it bears repeating. End of season Arctic sea ice extent is no longer diminishing but has stabilized, fluctuating around a mean.

      • nielszoo says: November 26, 2014 at 10:30 am Mr. Mosher?
        ““You can say it’s recovered when it gets back to it’s last peak”
        So mankind has been shrinking in height since 1972 (Shaquille O’Neal’s birth year) and will not be fully recovered until we re-attain that peak… got it.””
        Looking at my wife, in 1984 when we were married, she was 5’4″ now she is 5’3-1/2″ so yes there has been some shrinkage in height that can be determined

      • Mosh,
        What do you mean by “long term average”? I assume you mean 1979-2008 or something along those lines. News flash! Thirty years is not “long term”. For climate, that’s the shortest possible term.
        Satellite observation of Arctic sea ice began in 1979, when its extent was near its high for around a century.
        True long term however would be the entire Holocene. In 1979, Arctic ice extent was low compared to the Little Ice Age but high compared to the thousands of years of the Holocene Climatic Optimum, the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.
        Here is the inconvenient truth: the worm has already turned. August cyclones in 2007 and 2012 caused record lows, as observed by the highly problematic satellites (some of whose problems still haven’t been fixed). But the past two years have shown rapid reversal, as skeptics predicted. But wait! It’s much worse for you and your co-religionists! Right now Arctic sea ice extent is the highest it has been for at least a decade.
        You are so ubergefickt!

      • Andres – you and others have brought attention to the Arctic warming that I sent readers to check my article for. Seeing the interest in it, let me introduce some facts about Arctic history. First, you should understand that Arctic warming did not start until the turn of the twentieth century. Prior to that there was nothing there except for slow, linear cooling that lasted for 2000 years. Warming only started when there was a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system that started to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean. Greenhouse warming was excluded as its cause because there was no change in the Keeling curve corresponding to that point in time as required by laws of physics.This initial warming came to a halt in mid-century and was followed by thirty years of cooling. This very likely was caused by a temporary return of the former current flow pattern. Warming resumed in 1970 and continued into the twenty-first century. I note that all the articles presuming to explain the warming have a starting point above that date. Hence, they simply cannot understand Arctic history. That cooling, interpolated into mid-twentieth century, ought to be a warning to us. In nature, if something has happened bnefore, it can happen again. In this case, if there was a a distinct Arctic cooling that lasted thirty years. Who is to say that it may not happen again? I looked at your graph of Arctic sea ice extent and saw a retreat in only two years from the warming maximum in 2012. Could this be the start of a cold spell? I can’t say because 2012 is more like an outlier than a trend. Also, 2013 and 2014 are pretty similar so I don’t think the big cold is here. It bears watching though and because we don’t know why the warming originally started and a host of other related facts. Someone ought to convince the global warming organization to use their stash of research billions to study this. Should a cold spell like that in the middle of the twentieth century appear it would completely discombobulate all Arctic travel and exploration plans.

        [As other writers have previously requested many times: PLEASE add paragraph markers into your replies. It is difficult to read and think through them as-is with no separation of your setences and thoughts! If you are in a “Facebook” or similar editor, try “Shift+Enter” for paragraph imbeds. .mod]

      • Where the red line ends in your second graph, it is above most of the others. So, by your reasoning, Arctic ice must be increasing.
        You really need to look at the graph that shows Arctic ice from 1979 to see the tend. Yes, the ice did fall prior to 2007, but since then, despite lots of ups and downs, the overall trend is flat. So, in what sense can the ice said to be ‘rapidly retreating’?
        Simply comparing today’s value with the long term trend says nothing about the current trend. It’s similar to the global temperature. Yes, we are still at the maximum global temperature according to the official measures. And yet there has been no overall warming in this century – no warming for nearly two decades, a length of time sufficient to disprove the climate models (don’t take my word for that, read the words of Trenberth, Jones and the others).
        I agree with LeeHarvey. When an official statement from any organisation begins with an outright lie then I tend to assume the whole thing is a lie. There are too many lies emanating from what claims to be a science.
        Chris

    • I went a little further:
      “says project leader Dr. Luke Bennett, Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences”
      The U of Adelaide sends him to investigate processes of wind, wave, ice, and current and this algorithm cruncher is gonna come back tell us what cooks:
      Did you ever wonder why these climate models fall flat? The “project leader has no background to qualify him for the observation and study of natural processes.

    • I agree… This is the money line, though… which will get them credence from the people who steal from the money pit.

      • Mario, take this example and multiply by scores of instances where someone utterly unqualified (a mathematician) has studied natural processes and incompetently models them. And when the model falls flat, the mathematician will refuse to acknowledges its failure, a la Steven Mosher.
        These are the people who have managed to hijack climatology and who are the main source of the pseudo science which hijacks public policy.

      • I am curious as the arctic is cooling as the depth of winter approaches; more ice freezes daily. Large waves now would pile high the thinner ice, (which would not melt) exposing more ocean to waves and surface mixing Then the cooler and still cooling air would cause the exposed surface to rapidly freeze, thus at this time of year waves may actually increase ice volume, whereas in the warming summer melt, waves cause a decrease in ice volume and surface coverage.
        Sounds like the need to do a lot of real world studies, which will not be possible without the blame it on your SUV angle thrown into the proposal.

      • Of Course it is correct to make them better, as Mosher says. But the point you make remains the same… and I agree. They make them not better, but try hard to prove they are right by leaving out truthful features. It is selective improvement, rather than improvement to seek truth.

  3. The article says –
    “Regional variability in sea ice is presently not very well understood, with models under-predicting the extent of Antarctic sea ice and over-predicting the extent in the Arctic. Our research will lead to better physics in climate models and hopefully help answer these questions (among others).
    OVER predicting the Arctic ice extent? When you are predicting NO ice at all, how can that be OVER predicting the extent? Sounds like it is vastly UNDER estimating the extent. As for whether their research will lead to better models, well, as long as the models are stuck in first gear – everything is the fault of carbon dioxide – nothing can improve them.

  4. The next study might try to figure out the impact of air and wind on climate there is an ever growing suspicion that air currents might be a relevent factor.

  5. ” To date, however, climate models haven’t included the impact of waves on sea ice. ”
    There is a deficiency in the climate models?
    Say it isn’t so!

  6. What about studying the effect on ice cover due to the breaking of ice with ships?
    Why not start with something that we control completely and for that matter can stop entirely next season.

    • What about the people who need the supplies brought in by those ships?
      Are you proposing that all those towns be abandoned, or do you think the people living there should just die?

    • Exactly! Their time would be much better spent exploring the effect of chopping up the Arctic sea ice with numerous icebreakers every year.
      I suspect waves only play a part at the periphery of the Arctic ice. I suspect huge waves going round the ‘Roaring Forties’ have a much bigger impact on Antarctic sea ice than storms in the Arctic have on the ice there.

      • I looked quickly at the link to the paper Jimbo supplied.
        In high school physics class in the 1960’s we played like this with ripple tanks. This paper is not much more than a wave attenuation exercise. If you own an exposed marina you know the dynamics too well. Having diminished the wow factor, it is important to note that wave attenuation is a function of the relationship of the buoyancy of the target, presented width of the target depth of the target and the incident wave length and energy stored in the amplitude. At some point on the various curves there is a complete reflection. If this experiment is related to ice it is completely out of scale in terms of reflecting relative density and draft of the surface ice related to the incident waves. They stop the experiment when the plates begin to slam into each other and waves break over them, this would be the point where the plate size and wave relationship is most asymmetrical. The disks are not acting like dead bodies 9/10ths underwater but in this case have significant buoyancy. They stop and discount when life is becoming interesting the precise time when the most wave energy is absorbed and the plate (if ice) would be beaten to an optimized configuration (Absorbs minimal energy). I have learned this lesson too well. Size matters! Have they ever seen a rubber tire breakwater? Perhaps actually been out in the field to observe fringing ice? The first echelon of ice turns to mush and the frequency and amplitude changes the farther into the ice pack the wave can project it’s energy. Long waves can propagate long distances. Shackelton observed and described the experience eloquently.
        Probably the most succinct explanation on attenuation I have run across was presented by Jack Cox at the University of Wisconsin’s “Docks and Marina Conference” it was republished in the in Jan Feb 2008 edition of Marina Dock Age. I have a PDF but don’t know how to insert it.

  7. the research reports the first laboratory experiments testing theoretical models of wave activity in frozen oceans.

    Ummm… II am not sure if I have understood correctly, but I think that what they are doing are model runs, not real laboratory experiments, with salty water and ice at 0 celsius.

    • What’s funny is if Arctic ice is reducing and Antarctic is increasing, couldn’t the tilt of the Earth be factor. I do not know if we can or do measure tilt, but since we are talking about the imaginary world of models, and throwing various hypothesis into the models why not throw in earth tilt. Start with 1/100 of a degree.

      • Any variation in the angle between Earth’s axis of rotation and the ecliptic would be plainly obvious every time an astronomer aimed a telescope.
        In other words, it gets checked daily to accuracies far finer than 1/100th of a degree.

      • Except both poles appear to be increasing… which is why they have to test their computer models against lab models… Nature isn’t cooperating.

    • There is no significant atmosphere on the Moon, therefore there is no climate, So technically “climate change” is not possible there. In sunlight, it’s hot… really hot. In shade, it’s cold… really cold.
      However, just to be pedantic, the Moon is not a planet, and it is not dead.

      • Thanks, Code.
        Yes, the Moon is a moon, a very big one (relatively), but a natural satellite. Dead?
        Back in 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts orbiting the Moon photographed something very odd. Researchers called it “Ina,” and it looked like the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.
        Turns out, the mystery is bigger than anyone imagined. Using NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a team of researchers led by Sarah Braden of Arizona State University has found 70 landscapes similar to Ina.
        Some of the “Irregular Mare Patches” they found are very lightly cratered, suggesting that they are no more than 100 million years old. A hundred million years may sound like a long time, but in geological terms it’s just a blink of an eye. The volcanic craters LRO found may have been erupting during the Cretaceous period on Earth–the heyday of dinosaurs. Some of the volcanic features may be even younger, 50 million years old, a time when mammals were replacing dinosaurs as dominant lifeforms.
        From “Young Volcanoes on the Moon”, at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/24nov_imps/

      • Andres,
        Much appreciated.
        minor quibble
        Dinosaurs [sensu stricto] vanished at the very end of the Cretaceous about 64 million years ago.
        Dinosaurs (sensu lato), the Class ‘Dino-Aves’, including the dinos and our familiar birds, of course has not gone extinct. We’ve still got pigeons and parakeets in London.
        Incidentally, checking with the utterly infallible – it must be, as I can edit it – Wikipedia, the average CO2 during the Cretaceous was 1700ppm – four times – or a tad more – than today.
        Auto

    • Seems that any variation in solar output, Coronal Mass Ejections and the resulting perturbations of the Earth’s magnetosphere would have a definite effect on the Moon’s climate.

  8. Any evidenced at all that there been any change in wave patterns, or is having actual physical measurements of reality not something these people do ?

  9. “Sea ice covering the ocean surface is white and efficiently reflects the sun’s rays, keeping the oceans cool. When it melts it reveals the dark ocean beneath, which absorbs the solar radiation and becomes warmer – and that, of course, further weakens the ice.
    “Waves break up the ice so that it melts more easily. In addition, exposing larger areas of the ocean surface provides a larger area for the wind to generate waves, which further promotes the breaking.”

    Is it correct to say that open water looses heat faster than ice covered water?
    And wouldn’t wind caused waves just increase heat loss (and open area), to counter the totally positive feedback they’ve described?
    I’d bet our Thanksgiving leftovers that there is a balance hiding in there.

    • My sentiments exactly. Further, due to angle of incidence, it is hard to imagine open sea water at the N. Pole absorbing much heat during the few months it even gets direct sunlight.

      • I think Nature is smarter than us. I’ve been in awe since I was a kid, and found that the capacitor charge and thermal response share the the same curve. Galactic code reuse?
        Maybe we exist just because ice floats…

      • Paul,
        Inductance and momentum also share the same equations.
        Back before digital computers, scientists would use analog computers, capacitors, inductors, resistors to help predict physical reactions.

      • There is a high positive feedback for melting of sea ice when the solar angles are approaching their highest values and the nights are short or nonexistent. Simply looking at the slope of today’s Antarctic Southern Ocean sea ice extent plot suggests that scenario right now (26 November). The sun is rising higher everyday right now in the Southern Ocean, open water continues to absorb more energy, forcing the melting of more sea ice. With the ever more solar input, the sea ice-water temp system is not at equilibrium and daily ice melt rate is high.
        But at the other pole , the long winter nights, with only brief waning sunlight, there simply is no way for open water to retain enough heat at a calm surface layer to prevent rapid surface layer cooling which induces freezing. In the high Arctic right now, if a strong storm (strong wind and waves) causes a large area of sea ice to break up, the ice gets piled and jammed into high thickened ridges, but little or none of the ice actually melts. That will be seen as a short term drop in the rate of ice growth in the sea ice data. But Open water though will be exposed again, and once the strong winds and waves abate enough to stop the layer mixing, rapid ice formation will race forward during this time of negligible solar heat input. The one confounding factor to this is clouds. Clouds in the high arctic winter will act as radiation blankets, greatly slowing radiative cooling into the dark sky. Low pressure storms bring clouds, wind, and waves. Behind them usually are large high pressure systems with clear, calmer night skies to allow resumption of rapid ice formation. But again clouds, if they are present will slow radiative heat loss.
        The situation of solar forcing change of course switches signs after solstice. But due to the large thermal inertia of the Arctic and Southern Oceans, it is not until March (around equinox when the ratio of day/night length crosses 1) that we observe sea ice maxima and minima, respectively.

    • with thinking like that what exactly do we reckon the validity of the results will be. The ice is known to retain the heat of the ocean and a lack of it, except possibly at the time of maximum insolation, known to release heat to the atmosphere, especially in the dark.
      Brilliant – results bound to show ‘its worse than we thought’!

    • Is it correct to say that open water looses heat faster than ice covered water?

      If the amount of fog and low clouds coming off lake Huron during last week’s polar vortex cold snap and Buffalo’s almost 2 meters of snow is any indication of the amount of heat of evaporation coming off open water, I’d have to say yes.

    • >Paul
      November 26, 2014 at 7:01 am
      Quoting the (highly exaggerated and grossly simplified!) original article’s misleading words:

      “Sea ice covering the ocean surface is white and efficiently reflects the sun’s rays, keeping the oceans cool. When it melts it reveals the dark ocean beneath, which absorbs the solar radiation and becomes warmer – and that, of course, further weakens the ice.

      Steve Keohane
      November 26, 2014 at 7:13 am
      My sentiments exactly. Further, due to angle of incidence, it is hard to imagine open sea water at the N. Pole absorbing much heat during the few months it even gets direct sunlight.

      The edge of the Arctic sea ice expands and contracts around the north pole a minimum of 3.5 (lowest) to 4.5 Mkm^2 around Sept 22 each year, to a maximum in late March very early April. At minimum, the Arctic sea ice approximates a beanie cap with its lowest latitude about 70 north. At minimum, the edge of the Arctic sea ice lie between 79 north and 80 north.
      At 80 north latitude, at the equinox in Sept 22, the HIGHEST the sun gets is 10 degrees above the horizon for a few fleeting minutes at noon. The same day down south, constantly expanding edge of the Antarctic sea ice is at latitude 58 – 59 south latitude, and is exposed to FIVES TIMES the amount of sunshine the Arctic sea ice is receiving!
      Yes, the Arctic sea ice is hit by solar radiation – more than the edge of the Antarctic sea ice those five months between March 22 and August 22. The rest of the year? The Antarctic sea ice is receiving more radiation.
      Worse! The Arctic sea ice is hit with sun’s energy at low solar elevation angles through very very high air masses that filter out the sun’s dwindling energy, during the lowest period of the solar year (1315 watts/m^ at TOA) and at very low solar elevation angles with the water. At those solar angles under 15 degrees, the albedo of the dirty wet Arctic sea ice has been measured at 043 (June-July) but the measured albedo of the ocean water at 5 – 10 degrees is just about equal -> Measured from open ocean platforms and from ships at 0.36 and higher.
      There is NO Arctic amplification under those circumstances! This “Arctic researcher” is wrong in her details, in her conclusions, and her teaching!

  10. “Sea ice is both an indicator and agent of climate change,” says project leader Dr Luke Bennetts, Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences.”
    Oh, really…. Looking at global sea ice area, not much has changed since accurate satellite data became available in 1979. over the past 35.
    It’s becoming more apparent than ever that the 30-yr AMO and PDO cycles have much more influence on sea ice than originally predicted under CAGW models.
    The Antarctic just set a 35-yr record size and the Arctic is showing steady recovery since the AMO 30-yr warm cycle peaked in 2007.
    At the current pace of Arctic ice extent recovery, by the time the AMO 30-yr cool cycle starts in the early 2020’s, they’ll be at 1990’s levels…
    The CAGW alarmists have long made sea-ice and polar bears their quintessential “canary in the coal mine” and the canary is singing up a storm and keeping everone up at night..
    None of the alarmists’ predictions are coming even close to matching reality: global temp trends, severe weather incidence/severity, ocean pH, sea level rise, global ice extents, etc., are all falling well outside projections and it’s coming close to calling it a day.

  11. “particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.”
    I don’t see it rapidly retreating. Seems to have recovered pretty well since 2007.

    • Mike:
      True enough, the Arctic ice cover has stabilized since 2007, fluctuating around a mean. No surprise here.

  12. “We need to develop models that predict the distances waves will penetrate so we can determine which regions of sea ice are more susceptible to breaking up.”
    Like so many members of the mission it all comes down to self interest and make work for themselves.
    With everyone of these lame pitches for more monitoring comes the opportunity to produce more model results and interpretations for years worth of busy work .

  13. @ Dr Bennetts says:
    “Regional variability in sea ice is presently not very well understood, …
    ————-
    So, I seriously think that …. regional variability in the height, frequency and speed of sea (ocean) waves are not very well understood either.
    Iffen they ever figure all that out with help of their “computer models” … it will surely put the “kibosh” on all those locales that stage those yearly “Ice Breakup Contests”.

  14. I was listening to a progressive radio and the news woman was interviewing a man who actually went around the artic in a boat. .of course she asked about the ice and if it was melting..his answer was…that is a myth there is lots of ice there..I would love to have seen her face

  15. Sea ice also insulates the water, as a result, sea ice makes the water warmer.
    Beyond that, beyond that, the areas with sea ice are close to the poles, so that any sunlight that reaches area comes in at a low angle so the difference in reflectivity is reduced. Additionally, coming in at such a low angle means that the sunlight that isn’t reflected does not penetrate as deeply, making it easier for any heat that is absorbed to escape.
    Finally, it’s dark up there for a good portion of the year, which means that the total amount of energy available to be absorbed is much reduced.

  16. “Sea ice is both an indicator and agent of climate change,”
    Can I take this as an admission that Co2 is not the sole driver of Global temperature? I give him credit for not postulating a relationship to greenhouse gasses and ending with the usual doom-scenario ultimatum.

  17. They appear to have modelled the floating ‘ice’ using wooden disks. They note the importance of ‘overwash’ with increasing wave amplitude and also record the dynamic response of the disks but appear not to have placed any importance on giving the disks the same relative density as ice. Their disks were 33mm thick with an 18mm draft. They should have been weighted to achieve a draft of 29mm to be similar to ice.
    This is just one of the things that will probably lead to this model being about as useful as the other climate models.
    To get an impression of the complexity of the structure and mechanical properties of ice have a look at this paper:
    http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/9902/Schulson-9902.html
    Here’s a juicy tidbit to whet your appetite:
    Inelastic behavior is markedly anisotropic.

  18. University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating
    Their first sentence is a LIE.
    Arctic Sea Ice if anything is now rebounding from year 2007 lows.
    Arctic Sea Ice coverage is tied into the AMO not CO2.
    Arctic Sea Ice will be normal within the next few years or even above normal.

    • Yes, and PIOMASS is more alarmist than Navy ice thickness estimates, which are more observation based then model based.

  19. “Sea ice covering the ocean surface is white and efficiently reflects the sun’s rays, keeping the oceans cool. When it melts it reveals the dark ocean beneath, which absorbs the solar radiation and becomes warmer – and that, of course, further weakens the ice.”
    Hasn’t this happened every summer for millennia?

  20. “Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change”
    Edit to “Better forecasts for sea ice”.
    Its time to drop the moronic “change” addendum to everything about climate.
    Climate is a chaotic-nonlinear system. It is always changing.
    Climate means climate change.

  21. I have a photo of a boat breaking about 4 inches of ice in a bay in Canada’s arctic taken September 22, 1965. Another photo, same place, taken September 14, 2014 (49 years later) shows much more ice. Conclusion: Weather changes.

  22. “Better forecasts for sea ice”
    Yes, if it gets warm enough they will be able to forecast “No ice year round.” and be right. Hurrah.

  23. There are some major problems with what Electromagnetic radiation the “Ice” is absorbing and what is being reflected. Everyone is looking at the “visible light” part of the spectrum which is being absorbed or reflected based on how dirty or rough the surface is at any particular time.
    I have not seen anyone monitoring UV,IR or microwave portions of the energy received from the sun or the heat being conveyed from the ocean floor because of the molten layer below the surface of the earth. There is lots more to be studied before we get even close to understanding the weather on this planet.
    An important reference on how “water absorbs IR is contained in the following report:
    Water absorption spectrum – London South Bank University
    http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html   CachedWater Absorption Spectrum. Water and global warming Absorption spectra of gaseous, liquid and solid water The vibrational spectra of liquid water

  24. I like the way they talk about ice being white (albedo) but neglect to mention that sea ice also keeps the ocean warm by preventing it radiating it’s heat away, it works two ways.

  25. They are ignorant. Climate change has nothing to do with sea ice and all attempts to make the connection have failed. Antarctic ice is wider and thicker than ever and Arctic would be too if it wasn’t for the warm Gulf Stream water carried into the Arctic Ocean by North Atlantic currents. Learn about that by reading my article “Arctic warming in not greenhouse warming” in E&E22(8):1069-1083(2011).

  26. I think Clive Best has already covered this topic. Linked the tidal cycles (long term) to the breakup of ice cover and subsequent interglacials. Just a theory, mind you.

  27. If waves matter then is it possible that the ever growing fleet of icebreakers has had a measurable effect?

    • I have yet to find good info on that. As it is “anthropogenic” in cause, you would think they would study that. Oh wait, they cannot tax the world over a few icebreakers.

  28. Come on, folks: Waves are just acting like they always have, and any significant changes in wind patterns haven’t been observed in spite of the IPCC-induced rumours…i.e. stick to the natural cycles and your sea ice predictions will beat the IPCC with 100:1.

  29. Less snow everywhere, higher temperatures, bigger waves, problems with stranger winters and so on. More than that, our bodies do not adapt so quickly to the climate changes. It is not the first climate change in the history (warming or cooling), but it still is shocking to see how it happens. If you’re interested in this subject, you can read more about the global warming here: http://www.arctic-warming.com/?page_id=46.

  30. The changing Arctic
    Dr. Hoel, who has just returned, reports the location of hitherto unknown coal deposits on the eastern shores of Advent Bay – deposits of vast extent and superior quality……The oceanographic observations have, however, been even more interesting. Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81o29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus…..
    In connection with Dr. Hoel’s report, it is of interest to note the unusually warm summer in Arctic Norway and the observations of Capt. Martin Ingebrigtsen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.
    Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognisable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended far into the sea they have entirely disappeared.
    The change in temperature, says Captain Ingebrigtsen, has also brought about great change in the flora and fauna of the Arctic. This summer he sought for white fish in Spitsbergen waters. Formerly great shoals of them were found there. This year he saw none, although he visited all the old fishing grounds.
    There were few seal in Spitzbergen waters this year, the catch being far under the average. This, however, did not surprise the captain. He pointed out that formerly the waters about Spitzbergen held an even summer temperature of about 3º Celsius; this year recorded temperatures up to 15º, and last winter the ocean did not freeze over even on the north coast of Spitsbergen.
    http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndHistory%201900-1949.htm#1922: The Changing Arctic; warming in Svalbard

  31. Sad as it is, mainstream climate science has ended up in a turmoil of non-scientific, hastily invented explanations why the IPCC climate models fail instead of looking for the real reasons.
    Here is a good start:
    A paper published today in Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds a “strong and stable correlation” between the millennial variations in sunspots and the temperature in Antarctica over the past 11,000 years. In stark contrast, the authors find no strong or stable correlation between temperature and CO2 over that same period.
    The authors correlated reconstructed CO2 levels, sunspots, and temperatures from ice-core data from Vostok Antarctica and find
    “We find that the variations of SSN [sunspot number] and T [temperature] have some common periodicities, such as the 208 year (yr), 521 yr, and ~1000 yr cycles. The correlations between SSN and T are strong for some intermittent periodicities. However, the wavelet analysis demonstrates that the relative phase relations between them usually do not hold stable except for the millennium-cycle component. The millennial variation of SSN leads that of T by 30–40 years, and the anti-phase relation between them keeps stable nearly over the whole 11,000 years of the past. As a contrast, the correlations between CO2 and T are neither strong nor stable.”
    Links: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13646826
    Commented here: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.no/2014/11/new-paper-finds-strong-evidence-sun-has.html

  32. Nothing new under the sun, again.
    Back in 1983, this guy actually did some science and physically measured the strain on icebergs:
    Polar Ice: Problems with a Potential Natural Resource, Article #606 by Larry Gedney
    http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF6/606.html
    “Icebergs taller than a 50-story building and larger than the country of Belgium have been documented (it should be stressed here that we are speaking of fresh water ice derived from continental glaciers–not ice floes which are flat expanses of frozen sea water sometimes the size of small continents).
    One might regard such a massive piece of real estate as being almost indestructible (except through melting, of course), but the fact is that they are remarkably fragile, and often unexpectedly shatter into many smaller fragments. The tendency for them to do this has long baffled investigators.
    Now, Vernon Squire, an oceanographer with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, England, may have discovered the reason.
    Squire and his colleagues mounted “strainmeters” on a number of icebergs in the Antarctic and monitored the small distortions resulting from the “surf” around the bergs’ margins. It was found that each iceberg has a unique resonant frequency of vibration, depending on its size and shape. Although it would seem that ordinary ocean waves should have little effect on such a massive body, if the wave frequency matches that of the iceberg (or of one of its harmonics), the expansion and contraction induced could build to the point where the iceberg shatters. A good analogy, says Squire, would be that of a singer’s voice shattering a wine glass.
    The process is then repeated with the smaller pieces, each of which has a higher resonant frequency, until the bulk has been reduced to the point that only waves of unattainable frequency could damage it further.”
    Vernon Squire continued his research at the University of Otago NZ, does no-one do academic research before they come up with a “new” idea?
    “Break-up of Sea Ice by Ocean Waves” Vernon Squire, Pat Lanahorne, U. Otago
    “Waves are the principal determinant in the breakup of sea ice, acting both to fracture sheet ice initially into discrete ice floes and to limit the size of ice floes thereby formed. While mathematical models to predict how waves propagate into and through sea ice exist, they do not synthesize all we know about the properties of sea ice. In particular, this project investigates how the incessant action of intense waves in Arctic and Antarctic waters can hasten the eventual demise of sea ice, by gradually weakening it in the manner of the fatigue of an aircraft wing subjected to continuous oscillation in flight. The aim is to estimate the lifetime of sea ice in various scenarios.”

  33. Again, from the “It happened before” vault, NOAA archives
    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf
    THE CHANGING ARCTIC.By GEORGE NICOLAS IFFT.
    Under date of October 10 1922 the American consul at Bergen Norway , submitted the followlng report the State Department, Washington, D.C.
    “The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.
    The oceanographic observations have, however, been even more interesting. Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north its 8l 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus. The character of the waters of the great polar basin has heretofore been practically unknown.”

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